A few years ago, I wrote in the true tale titled "Art!" that after feeling hosed by the Gamecube's weak release schedule, I would never buy another Nintendo console on launch. Back then, I had every reason to assume the big N's next one was going to follow all the rules--after all, the company had invented most of them.

When Nintendo started speaking of coming up with a brand-new reinvention of a game console, though, I was even more put off. Three years ago they seemed nothing short of full-on insane, pushing "connectivity" and killing their own golden goose Game Boy with a "third pillar" device that they swore was not going to replace it. They said simplicity was their new motto and released bongo controllers, and a Kirby game where all you did was push the A button. Nintendo was completely out of touch, and whatever this new console was going to end up like, I was dreading it.

My opinions started changing once I saw the thing. When the N64 was released, I figured it was the final frontier--after the move to 3D, there would be nothing left. I thought I'd never again feel the anticipation of an oncoming console that truly promised something I'd never played before. I'm happy to be wrong.

Nintendo seems less daffy these days--their DS experiment paid off, and it trampled the PSP in terms of decent software. They also seem to have accepted the fact that we consider DS the next Game Boy, and shifted their development teams to the newer device. And I think they're onto something by targeting nongamers, now that they have the ammo to open their minds by putting out something truly interesting to everyone. The simplicity philosophy could really work on this kind of console, where it flopped on the more traditional Cube (and I have the feeling "connectivity" was just a stalling ploy so they'd have something to talk about while they planned the release of better things.) Then when they moved Zelda to the Wii, I was sold entirely. Who knew we'd be standing here again after four years, but here we are. You win again, Nintendo....here's my cash.

This is it....Wii in-box. The interesting observation is that it's sealed with nothing. You just lift up the flap and take things out. If you're going to buy a Wii on eBay and the seller swears he never opened the box, you have NO WAY of finding out the truth other than fingerprint dusting.

I wonder what I'll do with this box. This is what I ended up doing with the Gamecube box:

It's now a stand for my computer monitor.

Wii™ comes with EVERYTHING you see here!

I was one of the lucky ones to actually nab a reserve. No waiting hours in the cold for me--I just walked into the mall this afternoon, showed the clerk my receipts and walked out lugging this spiffy new console. I guess living in a city with five Gamestops and three EBs in my vicinity helped my chances.

"Hi, I'm here to pick up my Wii."
"Oh, we're sold out of those."
".......Then you are so fired."
"Ha ha! I was kidding! See, it's funny!"
It was only funny by Gamestop clerk standards. While I was waiting for the guy to come out of the backroom, the obnoxious television monitor displayed another BDEBGTVQ (Brain Dead EB Games TV Quiz).

"Which hero of Hyrule will be coming to the Wii this fall? Is it A: Mario, B: Link, C: Pooka, or D: Toad?"
The announcer paused for a few seconds to let us think on this.

"The answer is, B! Link!"
On that note, you might be wondering why I would give this franchise any more money. I think I can be forgiven to make an awful consumer choice given the first-come-first-serve scarcity of new-console reserves. Smaller game stores may need my support more, but the franchise that finds trivia like this puzzling was the first to let me save a Wii.

This is a Gamecube controller, which I did not know was a necessity to play Gamecube games on the Wii until I'd already sold my Cube as part of the purchase toward it. This could actually be my own controller that I just bought back.

In its place I'd originally reserved a Classic controller, but later found out those are only good for the Virtual Console. Right now, all the good titles on Virtual Console are owned by me in their original forms. Plus, I'd kinda need a Wi-Fi adapter first.

I'll have to get Wi-Fi within the next six months if I want the free Opera browser and the ability to watch Strong Bad on the tube.

Look at all the manuals. The three gray ones are all the same, only the second is in French and the third is in Spanish. Wii Sports is also mixed in with the manuals, and it's without a proper DVD case. I'll just bet it shows up sold separately later on with a case included. Boo to that.

Check out the fine print on "Quick Setup"....

They're asking us nicely not to resell this machine for security reasons. I expect this warning to be widely ignored, though this does bring up the fact that any used Wii we buy will have the previous owner's junk on it. Nothing that could be used for identity theft, but think about it....if you confessed to the sheep in Animal Crossing Wii that you slept with your best friend's girlfriend, and then said friend bought the machine....

I'm not bothering with Wii Sports just yet; I have Zelda. I also have a copy of RE4 that I still haven't opened after nearly a year of having it sit around. Go ahead and yell at me...

Zelda is the main reason we're here. I thought they'd never make another Ocarina of Time again, and I've been impatiently waiting for this baby since 2004. Generally, the longer time Nintendo spends on a game, the better it turns out. Ocarina was delayed many times, and was fantastic. Wind Waker was released on schedule, and was missing a few dungeons (with a tacked-on fetch quest in their place). This game was delayed just as much as Ocarina, if not more. So based on that, I have high hopes.

Setting up Wii was more involved than any other console I've bought to date, though I should have expected it. At least ten separate things need to be plugged in, attached to each other or set up. But in the end, it's all worth it...because Wii is the first console where I actually got a thrill out of setting the clock.

It's true; the remote controls completely kick butt. They worked exactly as I dreamed they would; I could move anywhere on the screen easily. There was a real sense of...POWER. I don't see how anybody who played around with this would ever be able to justify spending $600 on a PS3 instead. Despite what they tell you, "Sixaxis" has nothing on this.

The only problem is that the speaker on the Wiimote is kind of loud and scratchy, and I haven't found a way to turn that sound down yet.

This is a Gamecube disc (Zelda Collectors Edition) running on the Wii. Some difference, right? I thought ZCE would be rendered worthless by the Virtual Console, but it turns out nothing rumbles on VC. Ocarina of Time needs to rumble.

I'm going into Twilight Princess nearly completely spoiler-free. The most that I know is that whenever he enters an alternate Hyrule with loud overbloomed lighting everywhere, he turns into a wolf with a green girl on his head.

The opening cinema is reminiscent of Ocarina of Time's--Link rides his horse through the countryside while the camera pans around the wonders of polygon nature. I can already tell the graphics aren't going to blow you into the ground, but this isn't intended to be Gears of War and it shouldn't be reviewed by graphical standards. Only fools judge on the outside.

I prepared to write Link's name for this game with the Wiimote. Oftentimes when suddenly prompted for a custom name I get stumped, but not this time. THIS time, I knew EXACTLY what to name him:

Onward to adventure!


GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! I got past that name entry screen!

But not far enough. The truth is, I spent the majority of today's alloted waking hours in a panic, trying to fix a problem with my computer. One thing I don't understand is why there is yet to exist a well-known website filled with hundreds of experts who log in and volunteer every day to help people fix the unsolvable and complex problems that their computers develop. I suppose there's the question of "how could you log in to post your problem if your computer doesn't work in the first place," but for problems that prevent internet access, they would also have some sort of hotline....I guess.

Everyone has computer problems now and then. Jobs and businesses often depend on their databases running smoothly, and yet despite our society's dependence there's no 911 for computers. The fact that no one has risen to fill this need yet is perplexing. I'd fill it myself, but I would first need money and a few hundred computer expert friends. Any volunteers?

You needed SOME reason to check back today, so this seemed as good a time as any to re-upload my old Ocarina of Time walkthrough. You may have tried to see this before, but gotten 404ed. The skinny is, it was published by a now-extinct UGO offshoot that was trying to be GameFAQS. GameFAQS itself wouldn't take this walkthrough, and you'll see why soon enough, but I actually did get one site to run it. Check this out....